For Immediate Release
August 10, 2004
President Discusses Afghanistan
Excerpt from August 10, 2004 speech. Click here for the whole speech.
the Other Day in Afghanistan They Were Talking about, oh, maybe they're not too interested in voting. And I think there was maybe 3 or 4 million had registered to vote. And the Taliban drug some women out of a bus and killed them because they were involved in the electoral process -- and a lot of people say, well, gosh, that's going to discourage people from doing their duty, from participating in free society. Now there is over 8 million people who've registered to vote in Afghanistan. (Applause.)
So that's why I said to the Taliban -- we gave the Taliban a warning: Quit harboring these people, quit feeding these people, quit providing safe haven so they can train to come and kill. And the Taliban chose defiance. And thanks to the United States and a coalition of the willing, the Taliban no longer is in power. (Applause.) And the world is safer for it. The world is safer for it. You know why? We've now got an ally in the war on terror. Al Qaeda can no longer find -- you know, attack and escape into the confines of a sovereign nation. That no longer is possible. But guess what else happened that is important? We liberated people. (Applause.) We freed people.
You know, I was in Cleveland the other evening. I helped kick off the International Children's Games. And I was standing up giving this welcoming address, and right to my right was a group of young girls from Afghanistan. They were part of a soccer team, a young girls soccer team. Now, that probably doesn't sound like a momentous event, but think about it. These young children couldn't even go to school under the Taliban. Their mothers were often paraded into public squares and humiliated, because this country was under the clutches of a barbaric regime that had evil in their hearts.
Our action in Afghanistan fulfilled a word, it said if you harbor you'll be held accountable; the world is peaceful for it when we keep our word. Our action in Afghanistan has converted an enemy into an ally in the war on terror. And our action in Afghanistan is a part of freeing 50 million people -- 25 million in Afghanistan, 25 million in Iraq. And the world is better for it. (Applause.)